13 Nov A Closer Look at Gender, Equity, and Social Inclusion (GESI) in Banda Islands’ Coastal Resource Management

The Coral Triangle Center (CTC) and Photovoices International (PVI), alongside consultant Ria Fitriana, have launched a study on gender equity and social Inclusion (GESI), and Culture in the Banda Islands, Maluku, Indonesia. The survey, conducted from October 23 to November 1, 2023, focused on three key villages; Lonthoir, Ay, and Rhun, chosen for their significant role in marine resource management and cultural ties to the region.

The research aims to understand how individuals of different ages and genders monitor community resources, promoting equity, inclusion, and equality. It also examines access and rights, participation, and training needs for resource management, aiming to improve equitable management and understand cultural nuances on Gender, Equity, and Social Inclusion.

Hesti Widodo, CTC’s Senior Program Manager, said that the results of the GESI and culture study will provide insights for future program interventions to support MPA management effectiveness in the Banda Islands.

The study evaluates training requirements for equitable coastal marine resource management and employment creation, using qualitative methods such as focus groups and interviews in three villages involving both female and male participants. The study covered topics like resources management, resources access, knowledge, legal rights, power dynamics, impact assessment, marine environment awareness, stakeholders, and women’s role in resource management and adaptation. Following these sessions, the team held a community discussion in Banda Neira for the leaders of each village as well as traditional, Adat, leaders. In this discussion, the team posed similar questions to the focus group discussion and had the opportunity to confirm data collected as well as to report back to the community leaders regarding the preliminary findings of the sessions.

The survey in Lonthoir, Rhun, and Ay Village uncovered significant insights. Women seek greater involvement in resource management, with men supporting their participation based on capacity. Women predominantly handle household finances but financial decision-making is shared between women and men. The top livelihood activities are Kenari nuts, Pala (nutmeg), and Cengkih-Ikan (clove). Parents prioritize their children’s education, even in challenging economic circumstances, often securing loans for this purpose. Notably, the Adat (traditional) communities in these villages lack specific clan affiliations, with a majority being of Button-Java ethnicity.

In conclusion, GESI and culture study in the Banda Islands offers valuable insights to support future Marine Protected Area (MPA) management in the region. Equally important, the insights gathered through this study are expected to provide strategies for more inclusive and equitable coastal marine resource management. 

Writers: Arapa Efendi, Hesti Widodo
Photo: Rili Djohani/CTC, Hesti Widodo/CTC, Kasman/CTC

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